How we began making cremation jewelry
Roman and I met when I was just 18 and he was 21 years old. We were inseparable from the start. He worked at the local coffee house that I would frequent to watch the latest band. There was not a day when we were not together. After 2 years we moved into our first apartment and adopted two older cats, Zappa and Cheddar from the local shelter. Our first pets made our apartment feel like home.
Years past, we were married when I was 24 years old . Zappa and Cheddar had aged and left us after living a full and happy life. Not too long after we lost them I found a cat wandering lonely in a parking lot of the cafe where I worked. We called him Ike, he was not a kitten. He was orange and white with golden eyes. He was very friendly for a cat who seemed to be on his own. I just showed up with him in my arms after work, quite surprising for Roman. But Ike was home & there was no changing that.
Roman got a new job working at a neon sign shop and we had to move, Ike came with us. We were able to afford a much larger townhouse with a garage! Watching the guys at the shop bend neon tube was an inspiration. He was determined to learn the art of bending neon tube. This led us to discover other forms of glass blowing. Before too long we had a torch in our garage and we were making glass beads and sculptures.
Working long days at the neon shop left Roman pretty tired at the end of the day. It was one of those days, that Roman was trying to catch up on some sleep and we kept hearing meowing from outside. When he went outside, there was a cat who had been chased up a tree. Frustration from being so tired turned to sympathy. He climbed the tree to fetch the poor kitty and brought him home. He was a tiny little Siamese and obviously accustomed to a little mischief. Ike was not so fond of him at first, but this little Siamese kitty was home. We called him Sucker.
To our surprise we were soon to be parents of our own child. We moved into a house with a backyard, and soon after I gave birth to our son Anthony then quit my job to stay home with him. Soon after we had him our hobby of glass bead making became more profitable than the job away from home, Roman quit his job as well. We were now full time glass bead makers. For us it was what we always wanted, to be self sufficient working from home. Breakfast, lunch and dinner with our family.
Life seemed so perfect but as life goes, you can't have good days without bad days. One of our bad days was when Sucker did not come home. Our cats typically stayed in the shop when we made beads and always came home at night, not often going further than the front yard. The hardest part was not knowing what happened to him. All Ike had left was us. He and our son Anthony became the best of friends. Most days as we worked, Anthony and Ike would hang out in our shop together. It was not unusual for Ike to interrupt a good coloring session.
Ike had become older. He had been with us for nearly 12 years. He did not move as fast or hear as good as he used to to. He wasn't able to hear the dog that came into our shop and attacked him while he was sleeping in his bed. Roman chased the dog with Ike in his mouth through our neighborhood. By the time the dog let him go he was lifeless. We rushed Ike to the to vet. It was too late, there was nothing the vet could do to help him and we lost Ike.
Strange things happen. We were contacted in the midst of our grieving by a customer asking if we could make a cremation bead for her beloved cat that had passed. I truly felt that we were going through the exact same thing as our customer. I have to believe that she was sent to us at the exact time we needed her to be our lives. It is my feeling that this was not a coincidence, this was our destiny and I thank Ike and Leslie everyday. We created a memorial bead for our Ike using his cremated remains and the healing process began.
Long before we lost Ike we began working with precious metals and offered them in our first shop, Atlantis Glass & Bead. Now seemed like the perfect time to combine both of our arts. The healing that we felt after creating Ike's first cremation memorial bead, was something we had to share with others who are grieving the loss of someone they loved. We began to offer our memorial jewelry from our second shop, Poseidon's Booty. Our cremation jewelry was soon our best seller and the response from customers was very encouraging.
We packed up shop, left California and moved to Prescott, Arizona, in 2012. This is great town to raise Anthony. It did not hurt that my parents were also moving here as well. Being close to family is important to us. We settled in and adopted our basset hound Roscoe from the local shelter. He has been the greatest gift and is here in the shop to watch over our every move, truly a family dog.
At this point in time we decided to focus on our cremation memorial jewelry. Nothing has been more rewarding to us than creating lasting mementos to honor lost loved ones and pets. I can honestly say we enjoy every moment of the work we do and every interaction with our customers. I am truly touched when people share a bit about the life behind the memorial. The responses we receive from our customers has been the most rewarding of all.
We would be honored to create you a lasting keepsake to memorialize your loved one or pet. Losing the ones that are close to us is not easy. We hope our memorial jewelry can help you begin to heal.